Laundry hamper #8: Door frame mitered half-lap joints

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 09-04-2021 04:15 PM 752 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Slats, length and thickness Part 8 of Laundry hamper series Part 9: Half-laps in the slats »

Many errands yesterday. We had eight stops on our trip to town, so shop time was… sparse. But I picked up cutting the half-lap joints for the frame and then finished them up this morning.

The joints required a bit of fine tuning, both in the miter angles, as well as in the thickness of the half-lap. I got two of them good last night and two this morning.

Now I need to figure and mark the half-laps for the slats, and then grow about a dozen extra hands in order hold it together long enough to glue it all up.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

13 comments so far

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1503 posts in 2542 days

#1 posted 09-04-2021 04:34 PM

The half laps look great. How did you cut them?

-- James E McIntyre

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8488 posts in 1832 days

#2 posted 09-04-2021 04:58 PM

Thanks! I cut them by hand. Marked the diagonal using a 45 square, and cut the lap at the bottom of the groove that’s there for the slats. I sawed the lap first, then cut the miter down to it on the longer pieces. The shorter ones I cut the lap after the miter, but that didn’t work as well.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile


3327 posts in 3440 days

#3 posted 09-04-2021 05:02 PM

Nice work, looks like the assembly will be tight.
When you adjusted the miter cuts, this will shorten the length slightly, and I’m wondering if this effected your overall dimensions – or didn’t it matter due to application?

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View mafe's profile


13358 posts in 4339 days

#4 posted 09-04-2021 05:06 PM

Looks good, they never seem to just fit…
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8488 posts in 1832 days

#5 posted 09-04-2021 05:11 PM

Good question, Tom!

The adjustments were less than 1/64th, so yeah, it might affect the length, but I left everything about 1/16 too long, and I plan to plane off that sixteenth once they’re assembled. And then I’ll build the outer frame to fit the doors.

I also had to make a few tweaks to the inside edges of the frames so that everything would line up when assembled (and because it’s a lot easier to plane the inside edges before things are assembled). If you were to handle the pieces, the inside and the face are planed to a finish-ready state. The outside still has bandsaw marks. The back is off by as much as 1/8 on one corner, but that’ll get planed down, too. Not exactly sure what the final depth of the door will be, but it’ll be more than 3/4 and less than an inch.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8488 posts in 1832 days

#6 posted 09-04-2021 05:13 PM

Thanks, Mads! Especially since I’m figuring things out as I go. ;-)

I also glued-up the jig for cutting the half-laps in the slats this morning. Have to cut a couple slots in it this afternoon so I have something to guide my saw. And then cut some notches so I have a guide for my chisel to remove the half-lap material in the slats. There’s probably an easier way, but this is the one my brain came up with.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View hairy's profile (online now)


3323 posts in 4782 days

#7 posted 09-04-2021 05:33 PM

This will be the Mother of all laundry hampers. I can’t wait to see it.

I have had a somewhat similar idea for a recycling basket for several years. Not as detailed as yours. Once
again, overcoming inertia is the hardest part.

I hope the rest is as good as what you have done.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8488 posts in 1832 days

#8 posted 09-04-2021 05:45 PM

Thanks, Hairy! It’s definitely going to be something. I’ve got over two weeks in and don’t even have the first door complete, but it’s definitely not a race.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View crowie's profile


5038 posts in 3200 days

#9 posted 09-04-2021 11:07 PM

This washing basket is a master piece Dave.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8488 posts in 1832 days

#10 posted 09-04-2021 11:22 PM

Thanks, Peter! It’s coming along, I think. And the doors are going to be the most visible bit (except perhaps for the top), so I wanted to do them first and make them pretty.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile


20750 posts in 2234 days

#11 posted 09-05-2021 03:17 AM

looks like it’s coming along quite well even though your stubborn and wont listen-lol. your doing great my friend.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View doubleDD's profile


10718 posts in 3293 days

#12 posted 09-05-2021 11:53 PM

Wow Dave looking at that last picture before glue up shows some beautiful work.. I’m all into it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8488 posts in 1832 days

#13 posted 09-06-2021 12:19 AM

Thanks, Pottz!

Thanks, Dave! There’s still more to come!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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